Accepting Change with the Vibration of Autumn!

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The season of change is upon us! Equinox energy is abundant with opportunities for transition and transformation. In the northern hemisphere, the fall equinox celebrates balance with the pinnacle day of equal dark and light, presaging a shift into more dark than light. Although not everyone will be ready—or willing—to embrace this change, fall equinox is a great time to think about your own balance.

Saying “So long!” to summer is bittersweet for many, and just plain bitter for some!  Aside from the obvious, undeniable shifts we see outside in nature, there’s a lot going on inside our own personal nature. Autumn provides a fantastic opportunity to acknowledge that we all change and that transformation is natural and a normal part of life. 

The subtle and not-so-subtle seasonal shifting is multi-faceted and its effects are deep-reaching. Harnessing the energy of autumn is a beautiful way to accept the changes and create more harmony in your life, and it’s a powerful way to welcome winter! But our reluctance to go with the flow has the potential to amplify our discontent.

Have you been hitting the snooze button lately?

Getting up in the morning may not be as easy now as it was when the energetic rays of summer slipped through our windows to give us a gentle nudge. Sunlight stimulates the production of serotonin, the “happy hormone.” Serotonin is “the precursor for melatonin; it helps regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycles and the internal clock” (www. medicalnewstoday). Sunlight directly affects this internal clock, or circadian rhythm, “a roughly 24 hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings, including plants, animals, fungi and cyanobacteria” (http://www.sciencedaily.com), and shorter days with dimmer light means less serotonin production and less melatonin. Our sleep cycles will shift in response to this decrease.

The dynamics of this natural change slows down our biochemistry; the bear in hibernation is slow-down in its extreme! The body will seek to compensate for this initial decrease in energy, possibly by seeking out the quickest fix with caffeine, sugar, and carbs—just a heads up to avoid the potential “fall.”

Our bodies may require more sleep as we adjust to the seasonal shift. So, first off, pay Screen Shot 2018-10-26 at 3.04.55 PMattention to your sleep/wake cycle and ditch any guilt about it. I don’t believe there is a single bear on the planet who is feeling guilty about hibernation. Why should you? Negative emotions are like sludge in the energy flow. With our energy already slowing down, adding to it with feelings of guilt is a recipe for mood swings and depression.

Why not embrace the changes in your circadian rhythm with a salute to nature’s ability to willingly let go and celebrate the shift? We’ll be affected physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, so let’s take a look at what we can do to remain as balanced as possible during this time and increase our vitality and well-being.

EmBODY the Spirit of Autumn

Being mindful of your nutritional input can make all the difference in relation to your energy levels and your ability to be fully alive! The decrease in serotonin is a good place to start. Despite the fact that serotonin plays a major role in your brain chemistry, it is actually produced in your gut!  Gut health is critical for balanced brain chemistry. We often start with diet changes by removing items, which can start our change process with the energy of loss and/or scarcity. Try adding something to your nutritional regime that can make a positive change in your gut health, like drinking fermented drinks such as kombucha (fermented tea) or kefir (fermented milk). Improving your acid-alkaline balance will yield results on many levels and will reduce inflammation, helping that belly feel summer-slim.

Screen Shot 2018-10-26 at 3.10.10 PMAnother dual-role player in our biochemistry alongside serotonin is Vitamin D. Not commonly referred to as a hormone, vitamin D plays a major role in the dynamics of our biochemistry. Since our natural doses of Vitamin D come from the sun, the lack thereof can lead to deficiencies. Some symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are: bone, back and muscle pain; fatigue and tiredness; depression; bone loss; hair loss; and an overall compromised immune system, making us more susceptible to allergies and the cold and flu “season.”

To counteract these deficiencies, increase Omega 3s by eating more fatty fish (like mackerel and salmon), cheese, and egg yolks. Vegans and vegetarians can eat more mushrooms and drink fortified soy and/or almond milk. Plant-derived supplements (www.peta.org) are more bioaccessible, absorbable, and good for everyone. The Five Element Theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine “associates the energetic vibration of Autumn with that of our Lung and Large Intestine organs” (www.tcmworld.org). To support these organs, include pears, roasted almonds, chick peas, honey, celery, mint, and white sesame seeds into your diet.

EnvironMENTAL Cues

Fall is a time for self-reflection and introspection. With the shorter days and colder temperatures, we begin to turn inward. Because we are more inwardly focused, our Spirit becomes more accessible. It’s a great time to take a deeper look inside, to ask questions like: Who am I? What am I? Am I fulfilling my human potential? We don’t necessarily need answers; we are simply checking in to see whether the outside world we live in supports the inside world we live within. 

The autumn season gives a big shout-out to the act of letting go. With the changes in sunlight and temperature and the need for change of habit, our moods are directly affected.  It’s often easier to make changes and start new routines when you have a partner. Why not choose the environment to help you? The environment will not oversleep, cheat on a diet, or let you down in any way in terms of commitment.

The trees must release their leaves in order to conserve the dwindling supply of energy that they will receive from the winter supply of sunlight. Perhaps the bounty of color is nature’s way of celebrating this release? Those leaves don’t go straight to brown, dry up, and die straight away. Instead, there is a generous and beautiful transitional shift. Our spirits brighten and our moods lift each time our eyes fall upon the colors of autumn.

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For regions that don’t have these visuals, the energy of this shift mingles with the energies of the planet so that subtle shifts can be felt and experienced with enough power to announce the arrival of autumn. It’s simply Nature’s way.

EMOTIONal Effects of the Season

Change does not occur in the comfort zone, and although the autumn season lures us Screen Shot 2018-10-26 at 3.16.44 PMwith cozy sweaters and comfort foods, these pleasures do not guarantee a smooth transition. The onset of SAD (Seasonal Affect Disorder) or “winter depression” can be triggered by the fall season. With all the changes in our biochemistry that come with the season, it is no wonder that some of us may have a very difficult time adjusting!

Another factor possibly exacerbating this issue is the fact that the vibration of grief and loss is powerfully present in autumn. The fading of sunlight, vegetation, warmth, and long, lazy days are obvious losses that can set off any residing blocked energy of loss within you. Again, Traditional Chinese Medicine acknowledges grief and loss as an elemental force of the season. Whether you have experienced the loss of a loved one, place, thing, or even a belief, the energy of loss can get triggered during the season of loss.

Screen Shot 2018-10-26 at 3.29.34 PMAs difficult as it may sound and seem, embracing the loss may help the flow of the energy pass through you more swiftly. Viewing the flow of grief as a river sweeping through your energy body and cleansing it of emotional blocks is a great way to embrace your grief. For those of you who may be in the throes of sorrow, this may be an important time to seek extra support or to make a greater effort to stay connected to people who help you feel safe.

SPIRITUALly Spry

Spiritual spryness refers to our energetic fitness. There is a robust flow of energy out there at this time of year—we can see it in the colors of nature and feel it in the bite of the breeze. It’s definitely an invitation to increase our sense of vitality.  In order to do this, we need to enhance our energetic flow. The carefree days of summer offered an opportunity for a more relaxed living routine, which might have led to things piling up. It makes sense for us to remove clutter and get more organized now.

The energy of this season is about letting go, organizing, list-making, and the like. This is a great precursor for our natural desire to start the upcoming New Year off with a fresh, empowering start. Clearing away clutter of all kinds is a wonderful way to fine tune your intentions in preparation for the upcoming season of rebirth and renewal.

This act of clearing can be just as overwhelming as it is inspirational, so take the concept

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http://www.turbosquid.com

in small doses. Try not to think “weekend” or “dumpster.” Instead, invite the idea that the next time you come across a small item that you haven’t used or needed in a long time, you will consider tossing it. Start small, similar to clearing a few twigs at a time from a blocked stream. Clear a few more, and then a few more, and the next thing you know, the stream will be flowing full force and you may not recognize your own home!

The same goes for thoughts, behaviors, and habits. Think about how much more available attention you can put to use to not only gain a deeper sense of peace, but to apply yourself to achieving goals and enhancing your life! There are many ways to help retrain your mind; meditation, for instance, or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique or “tapping”). Again, you don’t need to go big! Just  commit to a 5-minute meditation. Begin by simply becoming mindful about taking a single breath. Our life starts with a single breath—don’t underestimate the power in that!

Some Simple Steps to Autumn Solace

Autumn carries the frequency of change. The season vibrates with the energy of transition and transformation. Seasonal change is going to happen and there is nothing you can do about it except to resist it—but will that serve you?  Resistance may be a necessary part of your tradition of change, but keep in mind that holding on for too long to what has passed can have adverse effects on your overall health and wellbeing.

When you are ready, here’s a brief list of suggestions to help you increase your sense of vitality and enhance your sense of wellbeing:

  • Take time for introspection. Meditate or vegetate, whatever makes you chill.
  • Cleanse your body. Add fermented food and/or drink to help improve your acid-alkaline balance. Invite a gentle cleanse or fast, or simply eat lightly for a short period.
  • Drink plenty of water to help flush out toxins and energize your cells.
  • De-clutter. Start small if needed; recall the twig-blocked stream, and take away one twig at a time until the flow increases.
  • Get organized. Initiate list-making and restructuring on all levels—with your “stuff,” with your schedule, with the way that you think.
  • Practice letting go. Join the spirit of the season and invite letting go of unwanted anything. A simple exercise can be taking a mindful breath. Think “in with the new” with each inhale and “out with the old” with every exhale.

Thank you for aligning your energy with me. May you enjoy an abundant harvest this season and approach the winter months with a sound spirit, strong immune system, and a fantastic flow of vital energy!

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Sources in order of appearance:

http://www.fpvforums.org/yin-yang-in-nature-yin-yang-in-nature/red-power-is-yinyangsunmoon-zps4ca755e1.html

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/kc/serotonin-facts-232248

https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/circadian_rhythm.htm

https://www.peta.org/living/food/5-ways-to-increase-your-vitamin-d-intake/

https://www.tcmworld.org/092217-2/

https://www.turbosquid.com/3d-models/3d-pile-branches-pbr-model/1127662

https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/101939742/autumn-expected-to-be-warmer–and-wetter–than-usual

 

 

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Is Sugar Dangerous?

by Janice Messino

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I was eating my daily square of dark chocolate (a quasi-nutritious snack), and it got me thinking. I know that sugar is poison, yet I have a little dark chocolate most days. I know that there have been studies on sugar dependence that have likened it to cocaine dependence. I did some further studying up on sugar and was quite surprised on several fronts. What a knowledge journey this has been! 

Dr. David Reuben, author of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nutrition, says:

C12H22011“white refined sugar is not a food. It is a pure chemical extracted from plant sources, purer in fact than cocaine, which it resembles in many ways. Its true name is sucrose and its chemical formula is C12H22011. The chemical formula for cocaine is C17H21N04.  For all practical purposes, the only difference is that sugar is missing the ’N’ or nitrogen atom.”

Reuben is not the only researcher who makes this claim. This alone is disturbing, but the more I dug into it, the more compelling I found the scientific information about the dangers of sugar. I have now become completely turned off by sugar.

Sugar may be killing more people than cholera or cigarettes ever did. If history is any guide, the majority of people in the US will continue to eat or drink excess sugar, spiking their levels despite the life-shortening impact. The public has 

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been slow to give up their sugar addiction. What I find interesting are people who would not tolerate cigarettes or contaminated water, but have little concern about their sugar consumption. That’s how serious this is.

What’s So Bad About Sugar?

Sugar contains no nutrients, no protein, no healthy fats, no enzymes. Sugar exists in many forms besides the white powdered (usually GMO) beet sugar we find at the grocery store.  There are varying degrees of effects from sugar in all forms (including high fructose corn syrup, honey, and maple syrup) and we are consuming more of it than ever before.

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https://www.healthline.com/health/effects-of-sugar-on-the-body

Chronic sugar exposure has been linked to hypertension, Myocardial infarction (heart attacks), dyslipidemia, pancreatitis, obesity, hepatic dysfunction, fetal insulin resistance, fatty liver disease, and habituation (if not addiction). Sugar is metabolized in the same way as ethanol, which is essentially fermented sugar. Thus, the effects of sugar consumption are the same as the effects of chronic ethanol exposure (habitual alcohol consumption); the only difference is that alcohol can lead to even more health issues than sugar.

The health issues related to sugar are not found exclusively in adults. Unbelievably, there is are obese six-month olds! Some researchers point to infant formula as the culprit. Similac infant formula is 43.2% corn syrup solids, and 10.3% sucrose. There is only a .2% difference in the amount of sugar in a serving of Coca-Cola verses Similac—imagine that! Parents who mean well are unknowingly harming their babies. High fat diets don’t hurt us; high sugar diets do, because they are metabolized as unhealthy fats. A low-fat diet may not really be a low-fat diet if there are sugars present in most of what you consume

Solutions for lowering sugar consumption

  1. Get rid of all sugared liquids in the house. Be sure to check all beverages, including juices. There’s no such thing as a good sugar-filled liquid! 
  2. Eat carbohydrates with fiber to slow the rate of absorption and reduce insulin response.
  3. Wait 20 minutes before taking a second portion.
  4. Examine all processed food for added sugar.

Why exercise is important

  1. It improves skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity, which burns calories and brings insulin levels down.
  2. It reduces stress and stress and obesity go hand in hand.
  3. It lowers appetite.
  4. It detoxifies fructose, improving liver insulin sensitivity.
  5. It burns the food you eat so that it doesn’t become stored fat.

I have been shocked by my new understanding of the dangers of sugar to my body and to my family. For more information on how you can lower your sugar intake, thus lowering inflammation and improving your health, please contact me.

by Janice Messino ▪︎ Create Health ▪︎ (860) 970-7383

Sugar cubes on plate

Corliss, Julie. “Eating too much added sugar increases the risk of dying with heart disease.” Harvard Health Publishing, February 6, 2014. Updated November 30, 2016. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/eating-too-much-added-sugar-increases-the-risk-of-dying-with-heart-disease-201402067021

Reuben, David. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nutrition. Avon Books, September 1, 1979.

Sugar: The Bitter Truth. University of California Television (UCTV). July 30, 2009  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM#action=share

Are Your Thoughts Killing You?

Written by Janice Messino 

Do 100 Year Old People Say The Glass is Half Empty?

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I feel like a lucky person. I take care of my health and I intend to be in my son’s life for decades to come; I want to get to know my grandchildren and great grandchildren. Time doesn’t have to be running out—it’s about how we choose to age. Every day is a new day.

I often tell the stories of certain residents who I came to know in various healthcare facilities. There were some residents who got together and talked about their ailments and there were others who made the best of every day.  Those who chose to enjoy their days seemed to be happier people than those who lived in their problems. As time went by, I noticed that those who lived in a happier state actually lived longer. Unhappy residents with negative health beliefs became ill and passed away sooner. How many people do we know who are in their 90’s or 100’s and who look at their glass as half empty? Not many.

Are We Signaling Our Bodies to Live or Die?

Our subconscious mind has triggers; it triggers our bodies to react to what we’re telling the brain. This phenomenon is known through the science of epigenetics.

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Epigenetics Unravel the Mystery of Life

Epigenetics looks at the ways in which our body “turns on” certain genes and not others. The basis of this idea is a recognition that just because we have a certain gene doesn’t mean that gene will express. Every day, our body is getting one of two signals: the signal to live or the signal to die. The body takes those signals and produces what it needs to live, or to begin the process of deterioration. There are “signals” that impact life, our thinking, our level of exercise, our diets, our social lives, and our mental engagement.  We don’t know our future or when our end will come, but I think it’s important to manage our thoughts and feed the right triggers, so that no matter our chronological age, we don’t trigger ourselves into a dying mode.

Training Your Brain

Be careful when thinking negative thoughts. When I have a cranky back or a pain somewhere in my body, I don’t utter anything age-related about it. Instead, I simply tell myself that I want to work hard at not accepting physical limitations. After all, some limitations may be genetic and age-related, but they are usually worsened by some other factor in our lives, like proper diet or regular exercise. I do everything I can to assist my good health rather than just accept my limitations and then call it “aging”

Six years ago, I discovered multiple challenges with my back. Movement was painful and that slowed me down. I refused surgery and kept consulting professionals and doing research until I learned that there were other ways to address the issue. As a result, I enhanced my yoga practice, learned mind-body wellness techniques, and began a daily practice of qigong.  Now through further studies, I am also able to help others as well.

We Become What We Think About

What we talk about, what we spend our time on, is what feeds our mind. I try to avoid talking about my health and, when friends start sharing their aches, I try to change the subject to talking about positive solutions.

My answer to aging is that we should assume that we have unlimited amounts of time.hammock-2239788__340 (1)

I am not insensitive to major health challenges; I am saying that your attitude can make a significant difference. The key is being engaged mentally and physically. Feed your mind to trigger a long healthy life. Don’t place limits on yourself about how much time you have left. Assume you have a lot, because maybe you do! Include behaviors and a lifestyle that supports your energy level and good health.

There is so much we can accomplish throughout our lives. I ask myself, what am I doing that is not supporting my ability to live a strong, healthy, long life, then I take appropriate action.  You might want to ask yourself the same thing.

Janice Messino

Create Health, (860)970-7383, Facebook/CreateHealthCT

creatinghealthmindbodyct@gmail.com

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